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Whole Wheat Pasta

I’ve included instructions for three basic ways to make pasta. Once you become comfortable with making fresh pasta, you’ll find the method that works best for you. You can make the pasta one day, then lay it out on lightly floured parchment paper, cover it with a lint-free kitchen towel and cook it the next day. If you prefer the flavor and texture of whole grains, make my whole wheat pasta. For the proper texture it needs a little olive oil and water, which is added along with the eggs.

NotesTips

I like to mix pasta dough on a pastry board because it’s the traditional way. However, you can also use marble, granite, stainless steel- in fact, any solid surface.

Until you’re experienced, you may find that the eggs threaten to or actually break through the “walls” of the flour well. Placing your free hand on the outside of the flour wall can help to support it as you beat inside the well.

If you prefer, mix the dough in a mixing bowl. making a well in the center of the flour, then adding the remaining ingredients. After the dough comes together, transfer to a board to knead.

Rolling Tips 




If at any point while machine-rolling, the dough begins to stick, dust it very lightly on both sides with flour. If it tears because it is too wet, simply knead it again in a little flour and start over - nothing lost.


Remember. when making fresh pasta for filling, roll out the sheets one at a time and fill them before rolling out the next sheet. Otherwise your pasta is likely to become dry and brittle because it has been exposed to the air.



CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer, food processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturechewy

Type of Dishfresh pasta, pasta

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sifted whole wheat flour, fluffed and leveled 750 mL
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp salt 2 mL
  • 6 tbsp water + additional, if necessary 90 mL
  • ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 mL

Instructions

  1. Hand Method

  2. Place flour in the center of a pastry board or in a mixing bowl (see Tips, left). Make a well in the center. Add eggs and salt (and water and olive oil, if making whole wheat pasta) to well and, using your fingers or a fork, start to mix the flour inside the well into eggs. As you mix, gather and reinforce flour on outside of well so it doesn’t allow eggs to leak out the sides. Continue to mix from the inside and reinforce well from the outside until dough forms a ball, using your hands to form the dough when it becomes too thick for the fork. Then, using your hands, shape dough into a ball.

  3. Lightly dust work surface with flour and, using the heel of your hand, knead dough until smooth and elastic (not sticky), 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate dusted with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.

  4. After dough has finished resting, dust board lightly with flour and knead briefly until smooth and pliable, less than 1 minute. Divide dough into six equal pieces and flatten slightly. It is now ready to roll, cut and shape.

  5. Stand Mixer Method

  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, eggs and salt (then water and olive oil, if making whole wheat pasta). Attach bowl and flat paddle to mixer. Mix at low speed until combined. Remove paddle and attach dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix until dough forms a ball, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Continue to mix dough for 5 minutes, adding water and/or flour by the tablespoon (15 mL) if necessary for proper consistency. Transfer to a lightly floured plate. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.

  7. After dough has finished resting, dust pastry board lightly with flour and knead dough briefly until smooth and pliable, less than 1 minute. Divide dough into six equal pieces and flatten slightly. It is now ready to roll, cut and shape.

  8. Food Processor Method

  9. In a large-capacity food processor fitted with a plastic dough blade, combine flour and salt. Pulse for 5 seconds. Add eggs (and water and olive oil, if making whole wheat pasta) and pulse just until a pasta ball forms, 1 minute or less, stopping the motor and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. If necessary, add additional flour or water 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time to form a dough. Transfer to a board and knead until dough comes together.

  10. Transfer to a plate lightly dusted with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.

  11. After dough has finished resting, dust pastry board lightly with flour and knead dough briefly until smooth and pliable, less than 1 minute. Divide dough into six equal pieces and flatten slightly. It is now read to roll, cut and shape.

  12. The stand mixer has the advantage of a powerful motor that turns the beater, paddle or dough hook much faster than a hand mixer, and it can handle stiff dough not suitable for hand mixers. The stand mixer also spares the cook labor.

  13. This is the fastest, easiest method of all. Pasta dough made in a food processor does not have the same texture as dough made by hand or mixer. However, if time is of the essence, this is the way to go.

  14. Rolling Fresh Pasta

  15. Tip

  16. I recommend that you keep a straight edge or ruler on hand so you can measure and cut the sheets to the size required in your recipes.

  17. Using a Pastry Board

  18. I like to mix and roll my pasta dough on a wooden pastry board, perhaps because that’s how I watched my mother do it. Wood has been traditional for centuries. It is porous and “breathes,” and it’s warm, not cold like marble or granite. I recommend a standard wooden pastry board 24 by 18 inches (60 by 45 cm) but you can manage with a smaller standard-size (20 by 16 inches/50 by 40 cm) cutting board, After mixing my pasta on the board, I use a bench scraper to clean it off until it’s smooth and dry. (Don’t wash or even wet the board, because the flour and dough will stick.)

  19. Hand Method

  20. When you roll out pasta dough with a rolling pin, you are basically stretching the dough. Traditional Italian cooks believe that this produces the best texture.

  21. One piece at a time (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out) on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle a little larger than 12 by 8 inches (30 by 20 cm). It should be about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. To prevent sticking, flour the surface of the dough lightly as you roll.

  22. If you plan to make pasta sheets for use in layered, baked or filled pasta recipes, measure and cut the size of sheets the recipe calls for and lay them out on a floured sheet of parchment paper.

  23. If you plan to make cut pasta, roll up the pasta sheet snugly in jelly-roll fashion, starting from the short side. Be careful not to roll so tightly that it sticks together. You are now ready to cut the dough.

  24. Machine Method

  25. When you roll out pasta dough into sheets using mechanical rollers, you are basically compressing rather than stretching the dough. This produces perfectly good pasta and is much faster than the hand method. For all our recipes you can use either a hand-cranked pasta-rolling machine or the pasta-rolling attachment for a stand mixer.

  26. One piece at a time (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out), flatten dough into a rectangle about ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Set the machine on its widest setting and roll each rectangle through twice. Repeat, reducing the width setting by 2 each time, until pasta reaches desired thickness. (For example, if your machine has settings from 1 through 8, roll on 1,3, 5 and 7.) After it is rolled, using a ruler, trim to 12 inches (30 cm) long by 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Place the cut pasta sheets on sheets of floured parchment paper until ready to use. Cover with a second sheet of unfloured parchment to prevent the dough from drying out. If you fill up a whole sheet of parchment, place another floured sheet on top and continue the process, finishing with a sheet of unfloured parchment.

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